Showcasing how dumb internet polls are, Time magazine’s reader poll of the 100 most influential people on the planet has been revealed and a highly influential world leader barely edged out CL of 2NE1 for the top spot.
Russian president/oligarch/horseback rider/shirtless model/judo expert Vladimir Putin placed first in TIME’s readership poll largely thanks to
a covert team of Russian hackers a large number of Americans who voted for Putin over two letters in the alphabet.
Among the 100 most influential people in the world, as hand selected by the editors of TIME, the Russian leader proved his rock-star credentials by edging out 24-year-old rapper Lee Chae-rin (better known by her stage name, ‘CL’) of the South Korean girl-group 2NE1 to claim the number-one spot with 6.95 percent of the votes in the final tally.
Putin – the only world leader to rank in the top 10 – grabbed the global spotlight from the leading divas of pop music: Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Taylor Swift (2.6 percent, 1.9 percent and 1.8 percent of the votes, respectively). Aside from the Russian leader, the only non-celebrities to appear in the top 10 were the Dalai Lama (1.7 percent), Pakistani female activist Malala Yousafzai (1.6 percent) and Pope Francis (1.5 percent).
By comparison, President Barack Obama came in 11th place with 1.4% of the vote. That’s right, the President of the United States is almost five times less influential than the leader of a four-member K-Pop group.
The main takeaway from all of this? The insane fandom of K-Pop is only slightly less bizarre than the insanity of international politics.